Iga Swiatek's fan club continues to grow, and Monday night it expanded to include two of the ATP's most iconic major champions and former No.1s: Andy Murray and Andy Roddick.
Swiatek was playing her first night session at Roland Garros on Court Philippe Chatrier when Murray took to Twitter to count himself a fan of the 20-year-old Pole's swashbuckling game.
"Love watching @iga_swiatek," Murray wrote. It was a simple message that caught the attention of another Andy, who was also tuning in to Swiatek's 6-3, 6-4 win over Marta Kostyuk in the Round of 16. The win was Swiatek's 11th straight win at Roland Garros and extended her streak of consecutive sets won in Paris to 22.
"Agreed. She's awesome," Roddick replied to Murray.
Murray has always been a vocal connoisseur of the women's game. He famously tipped Caroline Garcia to be a future World No.1 and he wasn't far off. Garcia would go on to reach a career-high No.4 in singles and No.1 in doubles. He also frequently mentioned his appreciation for Poland's first WTA trailblazer, Agnieszka Radwanska, name-checking her as his favorite WTA player to watch.
Swiatek took the opportunity to briefly take her mind off the French Open and look ahead to Wimbledon. It never hurts to plan ahead.
"Thank you Sir Andy! Are you by any chance up for a practice? I really need to improve my skills on grass," Swiatek wrote in response to Murray. Swiatek was the junior Wimbledon champion in 2018, but getting a few tips from a two-time Wimbledon champion couldn't hurt.
Anytime🙂 just promise to go easy on me as I’m a bit old and fragile now!— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) June 8, 2021
Practicing with the game's greats seems to be working for Swiatek. She prepared for her Roland Garros title defense by hitting with her idol and 13-time champion Rafael Nadal before the tournament. And like any proper student of the game, she came prepped and ready.
"It wasn't a surprise because I had to prepare, write [down] some small topics, not to have awkward silence," Swiatek said. "But Rafa is really, really great. He's a really nice guy. Even though I am pretty introverted, it was really fun for me. Obviously I got to feel his forehand, which was great, and his topspin. That was a whole new experience for me. It gave me a lot of positive energy. It was really a huge inspiration for me.
"It's really nice to see such a champion being normal off court, and also telling jokes and being a little bit sarcastic. It's really, really nice."
Here's hoping Swiatek gets her chance with Murray in a few weeks, when she is set to play Wimbledon for just the second time in her nascent career. A few serving pointers from Roddick wouldn't hurt either.